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BEA spiffs up its Tuxedo

The software maker tailors its workhorse transaction-processing software to fit more snugly with Java programming and Web services.

BEA Systems on Monday will tie its workhorse transaction-processing software, Tuxedo, to the world of Java programming and Web services.

The server software company has built a "connector" between its WebLogic Java application server line and Tuxedo, which is used for high-volume, network applications like reservation systems or online commerce. Tuxedo customers include Federal Express, Visa and American Express.

By integrating Tuxedo with its Java server software and associated programming tools, BEA is offering its customers a simpler way to build new Tuxedo applications. With access to BEA's tools, businesses can also more easily extend existing Tuxedo applications to different systems.

BEA last year released its WebLogic Workshop, an application development application designed to simplify Java and Web services programming. Web services are a set of standardized protocols and programming methods for integrating disparate applications.

Rather than learn the programming methods of Tuxedo, which was developed by AT&T Labs in the 1980s, businesses can draw from a larger pool of Java developers to exploit Tuxedo, said George Gould, director of Tuxedo product marketing. Programmers can also use C, C++ and Cobol to develop on Tuxedo.

Developers can reuse existing Tuxedo applications, such as a hotel reservation system, with WebLogic Workshop by using the application as a Web service, he said. The Web service could be used by another company department or by a business partner outside the company.

BEA founded the company around Tuxedo when its founders purchased the transaction-processing software from Novell in 1996. Tuxedo sales still represent more than 20 percent of revenue. About 65 percent to 70 percent of BEA's Tuxedo customers also use BEA WebLogic, Gould said.